Browse Publications Technical Papers 2010-01-2303

A New Responsive Model for Educational Programs for Industry: The University of Detroit Mercy Advanced Electric Vehicle Graduate Certificate Program 2010-01-2303

Today's automotive and electronics technologies are evolving so rapidly that educators and industry are both challenged to re-educate the technological workforce in the new area before they are replaced with yet another generation. In early November 2009 Ford's Product Development senior management formally approved a proposal by the University of Detroit Mercy to transform 125 of Ford's “IC Engine Automotive Engineers” into “Advanced Electric Vehicle Automotive Engineers.” Two months later, the first course of the Advanced Electric Vehicle Program began in Dearborn.
UDM's response to Ford's needs (and those of other OEM's and suppliers) was not only at the rate of “academic light speed,” but it involved direct collaboration of Ford's electric vehicle leaders and subject matter experts and the UDM AEV Program faculty. In fact, before teaching each course, the UDM engineering and science professors will work for one or two months in the Ford engineering group that is directly involved in the design and development of the systems that the course focuses on (batteries, e-drive systems, power electronics, etc). The prime architects of this process and curriculum include the UDM dean, associate dean and faculty of engineering and science from UDM, and Ford Learning & Development managers and Product Development leaders from Sustainable Mobility Technologies and Research & Advanced organizations.
Such a rapid and highly responsive curriculum development is not the norm in academia. To accomplish this outcome UDM had to be more customer-focused like industry and Ford needed to embrace academic priorities and provide access to its electric vehicle SME's by UDM faculty.
The paper will discuss the following related issues: building the relationship and trust between Ford and UDM; collaborative development; “just in time” development and deployment of curriculum; shared investment; modularizing education (it doesn't always have to be in “degree-sized chunks”), linking suppliers and OEMs; balancing service to corporations and service to students.


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